Grace vs. False-Grace: Have you fallen for the false-grace message? Five marks of the false-grace doctrine…

Grace vs. False Grace: The church has fallen hard for a teaching that puts lives at eternal risk. Here are five marks of the false-grace doctrine.

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For an extremely comprehensive study on the topic of false-grace, I’d encourage you to read my article, The Salvation Equation HERE. (It will open in a new tab/window.)


First of all, I stayed up late last night reading an amazing and important novel by John Bevere titled Rescued. It will shake you and your theology as he dramatically depicts eternity unfolding for pastors and pillars of the church. Riveting. False-grace is dealt with in sober fashion.

You can find it on Amazon here: http://www.amazon.com/Rescued-A-Novel-John-Bevere/dp/0764202006 


*WATCH THE VIDEO on this topic on our XPmedia channel HERE.

I want to make my point very clear right up front. The reason I feel it’s mandatory for us to start focusing on the issue of false-grace is because of the eternal implications. My angle is not mostly Earthly focused, how our lives are impacted in the here and now, though our short experience on Earth will certainly be impacted as we react rightly to this message (…on Earth as it is in Heaven.)

My angle is this: A false-grace doctrine is a drug—a poisonous sleeping pill that feels freeing, relaxing and euphoric. Yet the false-grace overdose that’s occurring in churches all over the world is resulting in people’s careless, self-focused slumber that they will, one day, fail to awaken from.

Many in the false-grace movement have already been shocked on the day of their death to find themselves escorted not into the presence of God by glorious angels, but rather by the most horrifying of demonic creatures into their new, eternal residence in Hell. It happens every day. I’m grieved and broken.

The Apostle Paul accurately predicted, “The time will come when men will not put up with sound doctrine. Instead, to suit their own desires, they will gather around them a great number of teachers to say what their itching ears want to hear. They will turn their ears away from the truth and turn aside to MYTHS” (2 Tim. 4:3,4).

The GOOD NEWS is that God loves us. Period. It’s settled. We don’t have to feel it. We don’t have to experience it. He loves us. No amount of work or activity will cause him to love us more. The question isn’t his love of us, it’s our love of him. He already responded to our condition—by his true grace. Now, we have to respond to his condition. He is a holy and fearful God.

I’ll make it very clear: We are righteous because of Jesus, not our works. Our works is an evidence of his righteousness applied in our lives. Our repentance comes when there is a collision between the reality of our righteousness in Christ and our choice to sin. The two can’t mix. If we do repent, righteousness remains. If we don’t repent, it does not. It’s as simple (though not always easy) as living a life that’s alive to Christ and quick to repent as his wonderful Holy Spirit convicts us. It’s when we presume sin and holiness can coexist that eternity is provoked. There is a true-grace message that is more powerful, freeing and desirable than anything the false-grace message promises.

Galatians 5:2-6 (ESV) 2 Look: I, Paul, say to you that if you accept circumcision, Christ will be of no advantage to you. 3 I testify again to every man who accepts circumcision that he is obligated to keep the whole law. 4 You are severed from Christ, you who would be justified by the law; you have fallen away from grace. 5 For through the Spirit, by faith, we ourselves eagerly wait for the hope of righteousness. 6 For in Christ Jesus neither circumcision nor uncircumcision counts for anything, but only faith working through love.

Our works APART from the cross are meaningless. Filthy rags. Even deadly. But in response to the cross of Christ, our obedience is beautiful indeed! If we believe, we will respond to his instructions out of the fear and love of the Lord. Yet, if we are not truly in Christ, we do have reason for concern.

John 3:15-17 (KJV) 15 That whosoever believeth in him should not perish, but have eternal life. 16 For God so loved the world, that he gave his only begotten Son, that whosoever believeth in him should not perish, but have everlasting life. 17 For God sent not his Son into the world to condemn the world; but that the world through him might be saved.

With such a permanent and terrifying potential before us, eternity, we must analyze our own theologies. How can we know we have been influenced by this heretical teaching of false-grace? It’s not hard.


John Burton : Five Marks of the False Grace MovementFIVE MARKS OF THE FALSE-GRACE DOCTRINE

ONE. We believe in a theology of exemption.

A theology of exemption states that since we are saved, we are exempt from the penalties of sin. That there are parts of the Bible that no longer apply to us. Yes, it’s a heresy. False-grace removes bible-based responsibilities to respond to God in holiness.

The number of people who subconsciously or unwittingly embrace a theology of exemption is far greater than those who explicitly pronounce their agreement with this doctrine. Many subscribe to false-grace doctrines without realizing their deception.

Many have been lulled into a false sense of security while actually existing in an unsaved state. They are confident they’d enter Heaven if they died, yet the reality is that they would not. They have come to believe they are exempt from certain parts of the Word of God that requires response.

1 Peter 1:15-17 (ESV) 15 but as he who called you is holy, you also be holy in all your conduct, 16 since it is written, “You shall be holy, for I am holy.” 17 And if you call on him as Father who judges impartially according to each one’s deeds, conduct yourselves with fear throughout the time of your exile,

Be holy. God judges according to one’s deeds. Those who hold to a theology of exemption don’t believe they are subject to what this verse is communicating. The command to be holy is to them a great goal, but not a mandate. A principle not a command.

Our name can actually be removed from the book of life—and that is determined by our obedience, our holiness. Sin can still separate a follower of Christ from him. The Rich Young Ruler saw that this was the case. He wanted to follow Jesus, but could not. He was not exempt from judgment even though he wanted to follow Jesus.

The argument of grace is actually quite revealing. People in the false-grace movement would say, “It’s not possible to be holy, or to avoid sin, so thank God for his grace that covers those sins. In fact we are automatically holy… innocent by association!”

Grace isn’t meant to cover up sin, grace is power! Those who walk in true grace would never say that we, as Christians, are predisposed to sin! True grace enables us to do the impossible! False-grace confesses that we cannot. Because of the cross and the resurrection of Jesus, we now have something they didn’t have in the Old Covenant—we have the power to obey! We can do this!

In fact, not only aren’t we exempt from obedience in the New Covenant, the call to obedience is even more humanly impossible than in the Old!

Matthew 5:21-22 (ESV) 21 “You have heard that it was said to those of old, ‘You shall not murder; and whoever murders will be liable to judgment.’ 22 But I say to you that everyone who is angry with his brother will be liable to judgment; whoever insults his brother will be liable to the council; and whoever says, ‘You fool!’ will be liable to the hell of fire.

We as Christians are not exempt from judgment or from the repercussions of sin. If we are in Christ, there is no condemnation, but if we are deceived by false theology into thinking we are in Christ, while actually living in disobedience, we are in trouble. We are not in Christ and there is condemnation. No salvation. The wrath of God remains on us. False-grace doctrine is eternally deadly. There are many people following Jesus today in an unsaved condition.

John 3:35-36 (ESV) 35 The Father loves the Son and has given all things into his hand. 36 Whoever believes in the Son has eternal life; whoever does not obey the Son shall not see life, but the wrath of God remains on him.

John 3:18-19 (KJV) 18 He that believeth on him is not condemned: but he that believeth not is condemned already, because he hath not believed in the name of the only begotten Son of God. 19 And this is the condemnation, that light is come into the world, and men loved darkness rather than light, because their deeds were evil.

Deeds. Fruit. Works. They are evidences of our position in Christ.

Yes, it’s hard to get saved, hard to stay saved, but if we walk in humility and grace and in the Spirit, eternity with Jesus is our inheritance!

TWO. Sin is treated as temporally troubling but eternally benign.

Hebrews 10:26-27 (ESV) 26 For if we go on sinning deliberately after receiving the knowledge of the truth, there no longer remains a sacrifice for sins, 27 but a fearful expectation of judgment, and a fury of fire that will consume the adversaries.

That verse stands on its own. The false-grace teachers emphasize that our sin may cause problems in the here and now, but there is no risk of Hell. This has to be one of the most troubling positions those in the false-grace movement take.

Universalism is creeping into the church very subtly. False grace teaches that Hell is not a concern for Christians and Christian Universalism teaches that there is no Hell. Different twists on the same false doctrine.

Yes, sin does result in trauma here on the Earth. But, it doesn’t end there. If we embrace a lifestyle of sin, we are not saved. We won’t go to Heaven. The day of judgment will be a day of horror.

The false-grace/semi-universalist position is one that would adhere to “once saved always saved.” My belief is actually quite the opposite—once saved rarely saved. The road is not wide. It’s narrow and it’s rare to find people on it… and people who decide to stay on it.

Revelation 3:5-6 (ESV) 5 The one who conquers will be clothed thus in white garments, and I will never blot his name out of the book of life. I will confess his name before my Father and before his angels. 6 He who has an ear, let him hear what the Spirit says to the churches.’

If we don’t conquer, don’t work out our salvation with fear and trembling, our name is blotted out of the book of life.

Galatians 5:16-21 (ESV) 16 But I say, walk by the Spirit, and you will not gratify the desires of the flesh. 17 For the desires of the flesh are against the Spirit, and the desires of the Spirit are against the flesh, for these are opposed to each other, to keep you from doing the things you want to do. 18 But if you are led by the Spirit, you are not under the law. 19 Now the works of the flesh are evident: sexual immorality, impurity, sensuality, 20 idolatry, sorcery, enmity, strife, jealousy, fits of anger, rivalries, dissensions, divisions, 21 envy, drunkenness, orgies, and things like these. I warn you, as I warned you before, that those who do such things will not inherit the kingdom of God.

If we walk in the Spirit, our flesh is subdued. However, if we aren’t walking in the Spirit, we are under the law because Christ’s sacrifice has been made of no effect. Therefore, even though we may have said the sinner’s prayer, paid tithes and lived a good life, that salvation is nullified for us. The above scripture reveals what clear evidence to look for when analyzing our position in Christ.

I’ve heard of pastors who boast that they no longer preach on the cross, sin or Hell because we are in the age of grace. My God! The cross must be central to our churches!

There can be pastors who preach powerfully, pray in tongues and lead large, growing churches who won’t inherit the kingdom of God. If they are driven by jealousy of other pastors or embrace division, the Bible is clear. If they don’t repent, Hell is in their future. Do you have any idea how much of the fear of the Lord is on this pastor? I tremble continually. False-grace provides temporal security in exchange for eternal torment. The enemy is more than happy to make this exchange.

THREE. Repentance and confession of sin is not necessary after we have been saved.

False-grace teachers proclaim that our sins are forgiven past, present and future. This is simply not true. If we repent, we are forgiven. If we retain our sins they are retained. The provision for forgiveness has been made, and the true grace has been given to us to respond.

The Lord’s Prayer itself makes it clear that we must both ask for forgiveness and forgive!

Matthew 6:12 (ESV) 12 and forgive us our debts, as we also have forgiven our debtors.

1 John 1:9 (ESV) 9 If we confess our sins, he is faithful and just to forgive us our sins and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness.

1 John 1:6 (ESV) 6 If we say we have fellowship with him while we walk in darkness, we lie and do not practice the truth.

The false-grace theology commonly teaches that we, as humans in a fallen world, are expected to sin and that it’s the focus on sin, not sin itself, that puts us into bondage. The reality is that people are becoming affirmed in a sinful state with no fear of the Lord or fear of damnation to be found. Of course, false-grace teachers don’t encourage a lifestyle of sin, but they also don’t sound the alarm communicating any sort of eternal threat. To them, there is no eternal risk whatsoever.

A friend of mine shared this:

Amy Smith: Misrepresented grace has caused us to respond to the command to be holy with an elbow bump and a wink, wink. “Ok God, we know what you mean. You’re not really asking us to be holy, you’re just telling us to make sure we’re under your grace. We know that You’re overlooking those little sins we’re not dealing with. In fact, your grace allows us to also overlook some things, such as all the scripture verses that call for standards that are higher than we can achieve.”

Another friend shared this:

Ed Hull: When we die, it will not be what we believed about our identity in Christ that will save us. It will be whether the concept of our identity produced good fruit, the fruit of righteousness.

Simply put, repentance and confession is absolutely critical to our position in Christ after salvation. Most are unclear on their identity… they presume themselves to be ‘in Christ’ though they very well may not. If we are ‘in Christ’, there is no condemnation, but if we analyze our position wrongly, presuming to be ‘in Christ’ when in fact we are not, we are still condemned.

Repentance is actually a very wonderful, joyful, fulfilling lifestyle!

The closer I get to God, the deeper into my heart I allow him to peer, the more wonderful repentance comes flowing out. I love to repent! Even if it’s grieving, my heart comes alive as I realign with the Lover of my soul! The more I turn, the deeper into God I go! Ignoring sin, unbelief and other barriers to intimacy just can’t be our strategy! Presuming they aren’t there when they are just doesn’t work. Repent continually and enjoy an indescribably journey into intimacy with Jesus!

FOUR. A biblical works message is renounced as legalism.

It’s striking to me how often I hear that a focus on holiness and obedience equates to legalism. How far from orthodox Christianity has the church fallen?

The only point at which it’s legalism is if we were to reject the cross and resurrection of Christ by attempting to work our way into Heaven. But, if we agree that Jesus is the only one who could have paid for our sins yet we also refuse to work, our salvation is a myth.

Legalism is our attempt to get to Heaven by bypassing the cross of Jesus. Holiness and works are our response to the cross of Jesus.

Luke 6:46 (ESV) 46 “Why do you call me ‘Lord, Lord,’ and not do what I tell you?

Luke 8:21 (ESV) 21 But he answered them, “My mother and my brothers are those who hear the word of God and do it.”

Luke 11:28 (ESV) 28 But he said, “Blessed rather are those who hear the word of God and keep it!”

John 8:51 (ESV) 51 Truly, truly, I say to you, if anyone keeps my word, he will never see death.”

John 14:15 (ESV) 15 “If you love me, you will keep my commandments.

John 15:10 (ESV) 10 If you keep my commandments, you will abide in my love, just as I have kept my Father’s commandments and abide in his love.

John 15:14 (ESV) 14 You are my friends if you do what I command you.

Philippians 2:12-13 (ESV) 12 Therefore, my beloved, as you have always obeyed, so now, not only as in my presence but much more in my absence, work out your own salvation with fear and trembling, 13 for it is God who works in you, both to will and to work for his good pleasure.

Matthew 25:23-30 (ESV) 23 His master said to him, ‘Well done, good and faithful servant. You have been faithful over a little; I will set you over much. Enter into the joy of your master.’ 24 He also who had received the one talent came forward, saying, ‘Master, I knew you to be a hard man, reaping where you did not sow, and gathering where you scattered no seed, 25 so I was afraid, and I went and hid your talent in the ground. Here you have what is yours.’ 26 But his master answered him, ‘You wicked and slothful servant! You knew that I reap where I have not sown and gather where I scattered no seed? 27 Then you ought to have invested my money with the bankers, and at my coming I should have received what was my own with interest. 28 So take the talent from him and give it to him who has the ten talents. 29 For to everyone who has will more be given, and he will have an abundance. But from the one who has not, even what he has will be taken away. 30 And cast the worthless servant into the outer darkness. In that place there will be weeping and gnashing of teeth.’

Throughout the New Testament it’s proven over and over again that obedience, works and production (fruit) is mandatory if we are to be—and stay—saved.

FIVE. Salvation is depicted as easy and/or permanent. 
Jesus didn’t die on the cross to make it easy for us to get saved. He died so it would be possible for us to get saved.

There is a temptation to withdraw from the pressures of persecution, the call to holiness, surrender and the cross, and a false-grace message is the perfect solution to that problem. It offers an escape from an urgent and fervent focus on obedience by dis-joining it from our position in Christ. The false-grace doctrine teaches that our eternity and our relationship with Jesus is already settled and we can simply relax and enjoy God. Our obedience is in no way joined to our relationship with Jesus our our eternal destiny.

Additionally, there is a misunderstanding of the process of salvation. Those impacted by the false-grace movement tend to believe that they play no part in salvation other than believing that Jesus was the Son of God. Anything other than that would scream of works and false-grace teaching has convinced them to have an averse reaction to anything that feels like human effort.

The scripture that most often comes to mind is Ephesians 2:8-9:

Ephesians 2:8-9 (ESV) 8 For by grace you have been saved through faith. And this is not your own doing; it is the gift of God, 9 not a result of works, so that no one may boast.

First, this scripture is quite often misunderstood. It is NOT saying that works don’t play a part in salvation. It IS saying that works ALONE can’t save us. Basically, we can’t say, “Thanks Jesus for dying on the cross for me, and rising from the dead. Great job! But, you know, I’m not really interested in your version of salvation. So, I reject the cross and the resurrection… it’s just too narrow for me. Instead, I will give $1 million to a local church and will buy my way into Heaven. I’ll pay the price myself.”

We can’t pay the price. We can’t substitute Jesus’ payment for our own.

But, that doesn’t mean we don’t work in RESPONSE to and in ACCORDANCE with the price that only Jesus could pay. We love Ephesians 2:8-9, but usually leave off verse 10:

Ephesians 2:10 (ESV) 10 For we are his workmanship, created in Christ Jesus for good works, which God prepared beforehand, that we should walk in them.

We were created for good works. Paul reveals that we receive the Spirit via hearing by faith and not of works, yet that does not communicate to us that works are not to be expected. First faith, then works and not the other way around.

James 2:14 (ESV) 14 What good is it, my brothers, if someone says he has faith but does not have works? Can that faith save him?

It’s a rhetorical question. The answer, of course, is no. Faith without works cannot save us. This means, if we have faith in Jesus, worship him, pray to him, honor him… but don’t obey, we cannot presume to be saved. False-grace theology would not agree with this.

James 2:18-20 (ESV) 18 But someone will say, “You have faith and I have works.” Show me your faith apart from your works, and I will show you my faith by my works. 19 You believe that God is one; you do well. Even the demons believe—and shudder! 20 Do you want to be shown, you foolish person, that faith apart from works is useless?

The false-grace movement is shouting, “Show me your faith apart from works!” The question must be, “Are we like demons who have faith (believe) or do we also work in response to the mandates of God?”

It’s easy and common to be falsely saved, but to truly be saved requires an extreme price—both on the part of Jesus and on our part. We can’t do his part and he can’t do ours—and this does have eternal implications. The false-grace message that minimizes obedience and works absolutely does result in people being cast into eternal fire.

 

  • theTruthisaPerson

    So you’re saying that Jesus’ work on the cross isn’t enough to secure salvation?  If I can lose my salvation then HIs work wasn’t enough and I need to add something to it?  I’m either saved by His grace alone or I’m not.  Receiving His love and grace by faith IS easy.  The more I receive and the more I enjoy His life the more I want to be set apart for Him.  It’s the empowering effect of pure grace in my life.  The old fear of preachers saying, “the grace message will give people a license to sin” is saying that they don’t trust God’s ability or His Spirit to guide people’s life.  As a result churches preach behavior modification and attempt to bring change from the outside in.  They mix grace with the law.  Even if they don’t preach law directly they imply God’s disappointment with them.  This is dry husk of religion that has made a mess of things.  God’s pure, unfiltered love and grace is the only hope for  the world.  For you to say “to truly be saved requires an extreme price—both on the part of Jesus and on our part” is to say you need to add something to Christ’s one time sacrifice.  Please take this to the Lord in prayer.   I’m not trying to debate you.  Talk to Jesus yourself.  That’s the whole point of  the Gospel anyway, isn’t it?  A relationship with Him?  The Gospel message is clear when you see it, and to preach another gospel is… well you know …  This is serious stuff.  I never take the time to comment on things like this but I’m telling you this is important.

    • http://www.johnburtondesign.com/ johnburton

      We know that faith alone save us… And if we continue in sin there remains no sacrifice for it… We play a huge role in the salvation process. We work it out with fear and trembling… And if we endure to the end we will indeed be saved.

      • http://www.johnburtondesign.com/ johnburton

        I meant to say faith alone does not save us.

        • theTruthisaPerson

          @johnburton OK, just so it’s clear… you’re saying Jesus’ sacrifice isn’t enough to secure salvation.  You’re view of those verses is through the lense of the law.  Mine is through the finished work.   God’s New Covenant has been eternally secured by His own work.  God was in Christ reconciling the world to Himself.  The contract can’t be broken because He cannot deny HImself.  If we are faithless He remains faithful.  Even the faith that receives grace is from Him.  By grace you’re saved through faith and that NOT of yourself.  He is the Author and Finisher and has given a measure of faith to everyone.  Romans 5 is so clear, having been justified by faith we have peace with God… and again… having been justified by His blood.  The entire cosmos has been reconciled to Him.  Hebrews 8,9, and 10 lays out the details of the New Covenant so clearly.  We have been sanctified through the offering of the body of Christ once for all… and again… by one offering He has perfected forever those who are being sanctified.   Grace is so big I not only experience salvation through Christ alone, grace has perfected me, made me holy, made me righteous, and made me a child of God!  The problem is much of the church and it’s teachers are confusing people’s actions with who they really are in their essential spirit-man.  We preach that we have to act more godly to be holy.  We don’t realize the power of what Christ has done TO us.  He has made us righteous.  He has made us holy.  When we renew our mind to this truth then we begin to manifest that through our lives.  We can yield to His Spirit within us and express His life and love to the world.  It is most enjoyable and this is the kingdom of God!  It’s not in eating and drinking but in righteousness, peace, and joy in the Holy Ghost!   You better know this one thing, he who is joined to the Lord is one spirit with Him.  I’m in Him and He’s in me.  You really think there is the possibility that He will divorce us and leave us?  He is not like you and I.  He is God and He has established and new and better covenant.  Listen, I’m a revival guy too.  I know this challenges our “strategies” to take our city and see revival.  It takes the control out of our hands.  It’s not about us or our egos.  I’ve been crucified with Him.  If One died then all have died.  Now I live by His life in me.  This is the great awakening that is the essence of seeing the revival you and I want to see.  This is the pure Gospel and this is message of the first century church that exploded like wildfire.  They didn’t have the new testament bible.  When they did get an epistle here and there to read it is filled with the revelation of grace as found in the face of Jesus Christ.  If there is one thing to be fearful about, it is teaching others who look up to me to follow another gospel.  The humble will hear and be glad and at least consider and take it to the Lord in honest prayer.

        • http://www.johnburtondesign.com/ johnburton

          @theTruthisaPerson  @johnburton No, Jesus’ sacrifice isn’t enough to secure salvation. If it were, every person on the planet would be saved. It’s a Universalist’s position. Our response to Jesus’ sacrifice is a critical part of it.It sounds like you are arguing for once saved, always saved… which is not an uncommon belief. I don’t subscribe to it myself however.

        • theTruthisaPerson

          @johnburton Hey bro my previous reply is filled with nothing but the Word.  I’m not giving you my opinion so you’ll have to take it up with the Big Guy.  I’m not Universalist, although Christ has reconciled the world to the Father.  It’s still up to each person if they want to receive it.  Once it’s received Christ lives in you, and you live in Him.  I’m seated with Him in heavenly places.  I don’t need to try and get closer to Him or offer him my life.  My life is dead and gone and I’m a new creation.  His life and Spirit is in me.  If you think God will somehow reverse that processes because I don’t live up to HIs standards then you’ve fallen from grace.  You foolish Galatians is how Paul put it.   You need new glasses.  Grace and the revelation of the new covenant is everywhere in the Word.

        • JosephRubeo

          @johnburton  @theTruthisaPerson I would sincerely ask you John to reread “theTruthisaperson”s paragraph above again, this time do not be quick to filter what he is saying by labeling him in a religious camp. At no point did @theTruthisaPerson hint at “once saved always saved” His entire response was straight up writings from Paul’s gospel. Even if our union with God “process” or “immediate” is %1 me %99 God that would be like adding %1 poop to brownie mix.
           
          To say that “Jesus’ sacrifice is not enough to secure salvation” is a VERY dangerous statement. By this statement you are saying that God failed on the cross, and that it is our duty as the church to patch up the earth, clean ourselves  up so God can finally return. Well, if this were truly the case we would all be going to hell in a hand basket! Thankfully Jesus did the work that only He could do so that mankind could live a life that Christ deserved! That is good news! Jesus Christ cleansed us because 1) He knew that all we had to clean ourselves with were bloody vaginal pads and 2) He was the only one capable of doing it.
           
          It does not make sense for Paul to preach to people of the Law and say things like “Guess what? Christ died!  Now, you can continue on trying to fulfill the law by abstaining from pulled pork sandwiches and snipping off mans private parts, because Christ gave you the power to do so” Paul time and time again says how trying to fulfill the law for righteousness is useless and stupid!
           
          However, as sons of God we get to do works FROM righteousness. This honors God. Of course sons of God will do good works because that is the overflow of who they are. A dog does not strive to be a dog nor does a tree strive to be a tree. Works FOR righteousness on the other hand is despised by God. God is not impressed with how loud i sing or loud the music is or how many people show up to the prayer meeting nor with the length of your prayer tassel, God is only concerned with people who rest in there identity and daily drink from His cup of the new promise by receiving the Free gift of His grace. Grace is a gift not a paycheck. A paycheck is something you earn, God only gives gifts, not paychecks. The only role for believers of Christ, is none other than well wouldn’t you know it… BELIEVE. It is so simple that all of mankind can receive what Christ gave. There is not a special club in heaven with “premium benefits” for how many days they fasted, there is however the greatest reward of all and that reward is JESUS! the best reward is not gold plated underwear for dead religious works, our reward is Christ!
           
          Jesus Christ is the most appealing reward of heaven!
           
          Now, you will love this, because we are now in Christ Jesus and our old sinful nature was destroyed with Him on the cross, will this mean we will sin more? Rom 6:1 “Of course Not!” You are a Son of God now, you don’t have to sin!
           
          Paul is not saying that it is impossible to sin after you get saved. Jesus destroyed our tendency to sin, not our capability to sin. But, even if we do sin 1 John 2 says that we repent and renew our minds to our true identity in God. In other words we “Hit Delete” declare “That is not who i am, I am a Son of God” and we receive the IMMEDIATE love of God, not wait a week or two after you do some fasting and do some good works so that God is less pissed at what you just did or looked at.
           
          You don’t have to live the rest of your life as a miserable sinner repeating the steps on how to get more anointed more clean more (fill in the blank). Just as Christ was in the world so are we! We no longer live in our old self, it was completely destroyed when Jesus died. Jesus did not just die for you, He died AS you, He was our substitute! Praise God! Anyone can choose to believe! That is great news! it is open to anyone who thirsts! Once we believe and confess with our mouth who God made us to be through the work of Jesus, we are now UNITED with Him, we are a New Creation, not a new version of our old self. We don;t have to sin if we don’t want to. Why Should we sense we have “Every Spiritual Blessing in Christ” “All things that pertain to life and godliness” We get everything! and we don’t have to jump through hoops or steps or processes all we have to do is the ‘Work of God’ which is to Believe in the one who sent Christ. Effortless Christianity.

  • sonofaking

    @johnburton So you are saying Ephesians 2:8 is a lie and there is more we must do?
     
    I love you John.  You are just so full of the fullness of God. You are a beautiful son! (Colossias 2:9-10) (Ephesians 1:5) It grieves me to see people trapped in religious bondage and to view God as a mad God that we have to prove ourselves to.  I lived in guilt and condemnation for my entire life and finally was set free by the GOOD NEWS. This news is that God paid the price for us! I mean what do we think Jesus really did on the cross? Did He nail ever sin to it or not? (Colossians 2:13-15) Adding law to something NEVER works.  Look at the foolish Galatians. Look at history and look where we are today in society.  The government wants to add more law more rules and regulations.  It is never about laws. Adding more law will not change people.  Its the transformation of their hearts.  My bible says its the goodness of God that brings man to repentance. (Romans 2:4) If we step into our true identity that Jesus paid for how could we go on living in sin? That would be so silly!  That is what Paul says in romans 6.  He is like you idiots do you not hear what I am saying? How can you sin if you are dead to sin! Do you believe you are dead to sin or not?  It is so interesting to me that you think by teaching Christ crucified and nothing else, this will cause people to fall into sin.  Christ crucified says we are DEAD TO SIN.  It says He took upon sin so that we could be free from it! How could teaching someone that they are not a sinner make them sin more?  That is just such an oxymoron.  We are not universalists and do not believe that everyone is saved and nothing matters in life.  That is such a silly accusation.  And if you talk to any of these “false grace teachers” they would tell you the same thing.   We do believe that word of God is actually true and Christ paid for the whole world (1 John 2:2).  It is up to the individual to accept this “FREE GIFT” . Obviously our actions have responsibility with them.  The point of the good news is not that you can do whatever you want. Its that you get to have a relationship with a LOVING, GOOD, NOT SELF SEEKING, daddy.  Do you realize that why we were still sinners Christ died for us??? (Romans 5:8) That is so insane!!! Do you think that He did not know we would still sin in the future? Did you know the lamb was slain before the foundations of the earth??? (Rev 13:8)  I have never been filled with more Joy more Love and more “good works” until I understood the true gospel that paul preached and that I am NOT a sinner but a son.  If we spend all our time trying to prove ourselves to God we are very self seeking and miss out on loving everyone around us.  Once you realize the goodness of God and TURN and change my mind and renew my mind with the mind of Christ (repent) only then can your life change! You have to understand that God can only be good.
     
     John you are so great! I want you to understand that your religious striving to be good does not make God love you more.  He cannot love you any more than he already does!  You can’t get any closer to God than you already are. He is dwelling inside of you!!!  The only thing you should be striving for is entering into His rest. (Hebrews 4).  The only thing we can do is repent more! (change our mind more) towards to truth and reality that we are sons and walk FROM that place not FOR that place.  You are a saint! Paul writes to saints, not to sinners or people that are almost there.  You are a beautiful shiny son of God! This is good news my friends!

  • http://www.revivallab.com/ johnburton

    @sonofaking Thanks for the reply!
    You mentioned something that most people bring up in regard to this topic.
     
    You said, “I want you to understand that your religious striving to be good does not make God love you more.”
     
    I find it interesting that it’s mentioned, though I never deal with that issue of love. I never communicate that we are to work to get God to love us. He loves us. Period.
     
    We don’t perform to score points. We don’t obey to convince God we are good enough. We don’t respond to be lovable.
     
    That’s a completely different topic of discussion. Most of what I’m talking about is continuing in sin, while presuming that it’s OK. It’s not.
     
    Have you ever met a Christian who refuses to forgive? Or who refuses to stop living a life of lust… or bitterness… etc.?
     
    Those are sins… that have not been dealt with, and when we willingly sin without repenting, without confessing, we are at great risk of Hell.
     
    God loves us all… but that doesn’t mean we are all saved.

  • sonofaking

    @johnburton 
     
    I am sorry if that came off harsh.  To me it does seem a bit like religious striving because you are saying we need to try to avoid sin.  That means it is in your own power to stop sinning.  That means you have to work at something. Jesus said we don’t have to work we just have to believe in the truth.  He says this is the will of God, to believe in Him and the ONe whom He sent.  
     
    As far as someone who is in a lifestyle of sin, telling them to stop sinning because God does not like it is not going to solve anything.  Paul always tells these groups of people who they are first then says “Therefore consider yourself dead to blah blah blah..”
     
    He tells them their identity and says since you are not a sinner.. stop acting like one.  Do you realize that if you believe (which means to be fully convinced) that you are a Son of God, it is impossible to sin???  
     
     
    To continue in sin is turning your eyes off God.  It is turning from the truth (reality) that you are dead to sin and alive in Christ.  Repentance is turning your eyes right back to God and the truth and reality that you are a son. Repentance does not mean apologizing to God.  Why would we apologize to God for something He does not even remember we did?  He just wants our eye to be single so that we can be filled with light.  He wants our eye fixed on TRUTH who is Jesus a person,  who is the redeemer and slayer of sin :) 
     
    The gospel is so simple! A little kid can get it.  We cannot make this more complex than how Paul preached it.  Its about stepping into an amazing reality which is such good news.  It is not a process of works or striving to be good or striving to not sin.

  • http://www.revivallab.com/ johnburton

    @sonofaking So you and I both agree that we must repent. That’s key. We are also told to confess our sins.
     
    If we continue in sin, there remains no sacrifice…. so, we can get saved, and have all of our past sins forgiven… and then choose to continue in sin, and that sin is not covered. Revelation tells us that our names can be blotted out of the book of life.
     
    So, if we sin after we are saved, we can’t ignore it presuming God doesn’t even know we did it… we must confess and repent. It’s joyous to do so!
     
    I like how John Bevere teaches so well… Having the love of God ensures we don’t fall into legalism, and having the fear of God ensures we don’t fall into lasciviousness.
     
    We don’t have the power to stop sinning, but we do have the responsibility to stop sinning, which means we must tap into another power-the power of the cross. The cross doesn’t simply cover past sins, it empowers us to not sin.

  • sonofaking

    @johnburton 
     
    Yes but what is your definition of repent? Because the word repent in the new testament is taken from the greek word “metanoia” which means to change ones mind or to turn.  Repent in the bible does not mean to say sorry to God. Just means turing to the truth.
     
    I believe realizing you are a sinner is very important if you are not saved.  We must initially confess that. In fact if you deny christ and say you have no sin you are a liar (1 John 1).   We are born into sin through the blood line of Adam. However, after you confess your sin and step into the reality of Christ, you are then baptized into his death and resurrected with him as a new creation.  You have a new bloodline through Jesus. (This is in Romans 5 for those who may be reading this comment)  All things are new when you give up your old life to Christ.  It is at that moment when you are born again and all things are new and you are no longer a sinner but a son adopted in. What a glorious thing!
     
    It is also very good to confess our sin to each other so that we can pray for each other out of thankfulness for the the truth (Jesus) and build each other up in truth which is the reality that we are not sinners because we are sons of God :)

  • http://www.revivallab.com/ johnburton

    @sonofaking Yep, that’s correct regarding repentance. Confession is a part of it too… it’s talking to God… relational.
     
    A primary point is that we are simply to strive for holiness. It’s a calling for all Believers.

  • aprodigalson

    I usually don’t become preoccupied with messages I don’t agree with, but there’s something about this article that really bothers me. I found this quote today which sums up my discomfort:
     
    “Nothing makes people in the church more angry than grace. It’s ironic: we stumble into a party we weren’t invited to and find the uninvited standing at the door making sure no other uninviteds get in. Then a strange phenomenon occurs: as soon as we are included in the party because of Jesus’ irresponsible love, we decide to make grace ‘more responsible’ by becoming self-appointed Kingdom Monitors, guarding the kingdom of God, keeping the riffraff out (which as I understand it, are who the kingdom of God is supposed to include.)” – Michael Yaconelli

  • DaveHess

    John,
    I want to thank you for speaking so clearly about this all-too-important issue.  The people preaching the extreme grace message, neglecting dozens and dozens of other NT verses (post-Cross, post-Resurrection, post-Ascension), are demonstrating a total ignorance of Church History.  What you are teaching is exactly what the earliest Christians, the spiritual children and grandchildren of the Apostles themselves were teaching.  These were the very ones who preserved the NT writings and ultimately under the Holy Spirit’s direction gave us the NT canon that we all consider to be the Word of God.  The scariest part is that some of what these extreme grace teachers are teaching is what some of the early gnostic heretics taught!  Since these grace teachers don’t know early Church history well enough, they don’t realize that they are handling and interpreting Paul’s doctrines like the heretics.  This debate is not new.  To the man, the earliest Christians (I am thinking here men like Ignatius, Clement, Polycarp, Justin Martyr, Irenaeus, Tertullian and I could go on) would reject the conclusions that men like Joseph Prince are propagating in the name of truth.  To dismiss these men and say they were “all wrong” and that somehow a modern teacher has discovered the real intention/meaning of the Apostle Paul is just absurd.  
    It wasn’t until certain gnostic doctrines infected Augustine’s teaching in the late 4th and early 5th century (due to his background in gnostic Manichaeism) that a foundation was laid for the false teachings found in Calvinism to infect Western Christianity.  These grace teachers, although many are not Calvinists, are building on many of those gnostic tendencies that crept in via Augustine after AD396.  
    Again John – you are boldly declaring truth and standing against a false teaching that has led and is leading many to a shipwrecked faith.  Thank you.

  • graceisthegospel

    @JosephRubeo
    Wonderful! Thank you for commenting – I have been reading and listening to Joseph Prince and have been greatly encouraged after being a Christian for 36 years and struggling with the assurance of salvation for most of that time.

  • rys1978

    John,
    The day you offer all of your fine works for free to the world like your speaking engagement’s, books, web designs etc…. Once you work for free like Paul did instead of making a buck, is the day I will listen to any of this hypocrisy.  Just like the rich man who was unwilling to give up his material life you will not be able to give up yours. Therefore you are just like him. Jesus gave that example to point out to each and everyone of us that no matter how much we think we are sinless we are not and never can be. It is not about being sinless but about believing in him alone for salvation.  If we could get to heaven on a sinless life then Jesus was not necessary. Job was a perfect example of that. He was a God fearing man seen as “blameless”. If a man could be blameless and God fearing like Job why do we need Jesus?   Job did all this in the OT before the Holy Spirit of truth embodied believers. Yet Jesus still had to be sacrificed.  If you are claiming salvation is based on Jesus + your works then you better make sure every single thing you do is perfect John. Good luck with that because you better be sinless. And by the way if you claim you are without sin then you are a liar and the truth is not in you. Your are saved by grace through faith not by works so man can boast.

    • http://www.revivallab.com/ johnburton

      rys1978 Please understand that your position requires that you erase a lot of scripture from the Word of God. I simply believe the cross of Christ is powerful enough to grace us to live holy lives. Behavior does play a part without a doubt. The Bible is filled with references to that fact.

      • rys1978

        johnburton rys1978 Do you believe you are living a holy life? And if so how? Jesus said the only work God has for us is to believe in the one He sent. in other words John 3:16. He did not say and live a life full of struggling to work out salvation by not sinning in order to receive eternal life. No, He said to believe in the one He sent, or in other words John 3:16. That’s pretty straight forward it can’t be misinterpreted. It is not about self righteousness. God counts our faith as righteous not our works. You seem to be assuming God is giving people today some sort of supernatural ability to be super sinless people because of the Holy Spirit.  If that were the case we would be in a utopia by now. We will not be made perfect until the resurrection. Even Paul wrote about his struggles with the sinful flesh.

  • rys1978

    John,
    I think the entire point here and missing piece that links the salvation by grace or works argument comes down to love. Because James and Paul can not contradict each other which on the surface looks like that. But let’s look at what they are really saying.  Paul basically says that if we do all kinds of works but don’t love we are nothing. And James basically says if we have faith alone but don’t love we are nothing. So it comes down to faith shown through love. Love for God and love for others. Jesus even says that if we simply love one another we will fulfill all the commandments. So, first we must have faith in Christ alone for salvation. Second that faith should in a genuine believer manifest in faithful love towards others. The bible says we love because God first loved us. So when we stop and truly marvel at what Christ did for us in our place and we harness God’s loving grace through faith we free ourselves to love in a way God finds pleasing.  
    Because atheists show works in love but they have no faith in Jesus.  Is that pleasing to God? Because we know we can’t please God without faith. So any love towards someone else outside of faith in God must not be true love therefore sinful. We know that true love comes form God in fact God is love. What does love look like?   The bible says it does not dishonor others, it is not self-seeking, it is not easily angered, it keeps no record of wrongs. It always protects, always trusts, always hopes, always preserves. Love never fails. The “always trusts” part is on thing that gets me. Because if we always trust God with our salvation we are acting in a loving way since the bible says love always trusts. As a believer I have to trust God that no matter what happens he has me. Which is faith manifesting in loving trust which is faithful works out of love. In fact it’s the only work God has for us. It all comes down to His love for us and ours for Him. Hopefully we can agree on this.

  • rys1978

    What does Scripture say? “Abraham believed God, and it was credited to him as righteousness.” Now to the one who works, wages are not credited as a gift but as an obligation. However, to the one who does not work but trusts God who justifies the ungodly, their faith is credited as righteousness. David says the same thing when he speaks of the blessedness of the one to whom God credits righteousness apart from works: “Blessed are those whose transgressions are forgiven, whose sins are covered. Blessed is the one whose sin the Lord will never count against them.” (Romans 4:3-8 NIV)

  • JohnWood1

    This verse below has been one of the best verses I have come to know. Why? It defines two of the biggest questions that have ever come up. What is believe? and What is Works? And tagged on to “What is Works?” is What is different between the Works mentioned in Eph 2 and the Works mentioned in James 2. 
    Believe = Cleave to, trust, rely on, and have faith in God’s Messenger.
    Works according to James = Believe
    Works according to Paul = Obey the law.
    so yes the Bible is not a contradiction when you understand it. But until you take what Christ said and hold it up to both passages. You will never understand how similar they are. 
    John 6:28-29
    Amplified Bible (AMP)
    28 They then said, What are we to do, that we may [habitually] be working the works of God? [What are we to do to carry out what God requires?]
    29 Jesus replied, This is the work (service) that God asks of you: that you believe in the One Whom He has sent [that you cleave to, trust, rely on, and have faith in His Messenger].

  • JohnWood1

    Ok, now for those who say that Ephesians 2 actually means we no longer have to obey Christ. Think again. Read below and these are the 2 best of many verses. In fact I can even give you one from Paul himself. So study them, read them, and understand that James 2 faith and works come together. you need both. Romans 6:1-4
    New International Version (NIV)Dead to Sin, Alive in Christ
    6 What shall we say, then? Shall we go on sinning so that grace may increase? 2 By no means! We are those who have died to sin; how can we live in it any longer? 3 Or don’t you know that all of us who were baptized into Christ Jesus were baptized into his death? 4 We were therefore buried with him through baptism into death in order that, just as Christ was raised from the dead through the glory of the Father, we too may live a new life.1 John 2:6
    New International Version (NIV)
    6 Whoever claims to live in him must live as Jesus did.1 John 1:6
    New International Version (NIV)
    6 If we claim to have fellowship with him and yet walk in the darkness, we lie and do not live out the truth.

  • JohnWood1

    johnburton Hold on son. You just goofed. Faith alone does not save us? You just said that a piece out of the Bible is wrong. I am all for your side, but please don’t surcome to pressure of trying to please everyone. Remember, Christ came to piss people off with truth. Use it. I commented some verses and an understanding of how it works. Use them to help.

  • http://www.revivallab.com/ johnburton

    JohnWood1johnburtonJames 2:14 What does it profit, my brethren, if someone says he has faith but does not have works? Can faith save him?

  • JohnWood1

    Again faith alones saves us. Read the posts a top. The works of God is that we have faith. Your works is only evidence of Change in heart. You don’t keep stealing cookies from cookie jar when you truly appologize. So why keep sinning when you believe? faith is what healed sinners in Christs time. Evidence of faith was the diligence of cutting through mass crowds to be healed. The reason American Churches don’t see healing like those of over seas is simple. They don’t believe as they say. We say we believe in Christ yet we rely on having a job before we help others and once we have a job we become to busy to care. We replaced Christ with things. Faith saves us. America don’t know faith and seldom is it taught correctly. Everything is a heart matter. God died for all who believe. John 3:16 makes that clear. But works is a vague term. The Bible don’t contradict. But it is often not correctly read. James is talking of a heart change. How can we say we believe if we have yet to rely on Christ? Believe = Cleave to, trust, rely on, and have faith in God’s Messenger. Christ even said our works of God are to believe. Stop confusing thus works with obeying levitical law. Yes Christ also said if you love me you will obey my commands. Remember it is a heart change from disobedience to obedience. And in this faith alone can save if a change of heart backs it up. But if you obey laws to get saved and negate Christ altogether then you will fail. You need Christ. But you can’t take james 2 and neglect ephesians 2 either. Understand the meaning.

  • OneWhoGodLoves

    JosephRubeo You have faith. Even the demons believe, and they tremble. But do not be deceived. Those who love God will obey His commandments, and His commandments are not burdensome. Those who are justified are doers, and not hearers. As it is written, the righteous shall live by Faith. Do I do works because they are an approval or inapproval of my life to God? By NO means. But I can tell you this much, if you love God, obey His commandments. And know this: If you have tasted the heavenly gift, Holiness, sanctification, consecration, and seperation from the world by GRACE are GIFTS from God, that allow us to be with Him intimately, yet still live on this earth. Be Holy as God is holy. Without holiness, you will NOT see God..and quite frankly, you are coming from a perspective of “I don’t really HAVE to do anything so I don’t want to.” I am coming from a “I have received love, and these commands that are given, are the most GRACIOUS offerings from God to be able to abide in His love until I see Him face to face.” One pulls away from God, one draws closer. I tend to take truth as anything that draws us CLOSER to God..

    • JohnWood1

      OneWhoGodLoves JosephRubeo Of course you can always understand that Christ died for you. YOU ARE NOT YOUR OWN. Your body was created by God, for God and is to be used the way God wants it. What is so hard about listening to the one who created you? Obeying God’s commands isn’t saying to obey levitical law. There is God’s Commands and Man’s law. God just wants you to obey his commands. That is all. Think of it this way. Most don’t understand God until they are married and have kids why? Because think of it. Your kids steal and lie to you about it. Does it mean they are no longer family? Nope. But they are still going to be disciplined. God has his house rules to. Yet we disobey and then tell him we don’t have to listen? I wonder how often God laughs or cries because of what we say. But as we get older and respect our parents more we ask before taking cookies why? Because out of love we don’t want to upset our parents. Or like Husbands and wives as newly weds. You do everything to make the other happy. It should be the same with us and God. Not because we have to or because we are compelled or obligated to. But because we want to out of love.

  • http://www.liftingjesus.org/ John M Lukamto

    I think you need to realize that when Jesus was still walking on earth during his 3 years plus ministry on earth, many things He said was still referring to the Old Covenant and the transition to the need of the New Covenant of Grace. for example: Jesus did ask to puck out your eyes and cut your hands when they offend you. How come we do not see Christians doing this so far ? If you want to follow His word literally. Jesus wants us to realize the needs for savior. The New covenant of Grace only started after the Cross. Rightly dividing the covenant is very crucial in understanding the Bible.

    Christians who are under Grace, will never live in sins. How could we live in sins when we are under Grace?:
    Rom 6:14 For sin shall not have dominion over you, for you are not under law but under grace.
    Rom 6:15 What then? Shall we sin because we are not under law but under grace? Certainly not!

    The same accusation to Apostle Paul was launched against him, the same way today against Grace. It is not new. But if there is no same accusation, that means the Grace is not the same Grace as Apostle Paul preached ! Why is that today Christianity receive no such accusation ? Because I submit to you, that preachers no longer preach the same preaching as Apostle Paul preached in his first churches.

    May peace be with you.

    • Mark Clemerol Castro

      I agreee with you John.Rightly dividing the Word of Truth,reading the words on it’s proper context and always read the scripture according to the lens of Grace are the keys to understand Jesus’ words in the New Testament.We don’t mix messages of condemnation and works which came from the Law and mixed it with love and mercy which came from Grace to get a good dose of message.The Gospel is the Gospel of Grace,nothing else.It’s about Jesus plus nothing.
      Grace to You John Burton!

  • RickMckc

    I’m confused. What’s the difference between your theology and Roman Catholic theology?

  • Tope Oloniniyi

    John burton screwed up. You don’t understand grace AT ALL.

  • Andrew Onyango

    This is at the very least ludricrous, John Burton.So what’s the difference between those under grace if we behave like those in the OT who had to make a blood offering very time they sinned? I mean, Jesus died for ALL Sins…….past,present and future of those not even born yet. The only sin remaining is refusing to accept what He did.

    • http://www.johnburton.net/ John Burton

      Acceptance of Jesus’ sacrifice is not the only condition of salvation. We have to endure to the end, we must work out our salvation with fear and trembling, we must ensure we don’t fall away. There’s no salvation without faith and there’s no faith without works according to scripture.

      • Elsie Bouwman

        HI John .. i agree all what you said about the gospel of provision or hype-grace etc.its all good .. Elsies husband Henry

      • http://xcatholic.yuku.com/ gerald nichols

        I am sure you don’t enjoy reading,much less studying, Paul’s epistles.LOL.

      • John M Lu

        John Burton, You are actually saying Jesus’ sacrifice & finished work is not good enough? Jesus did not do a FINISHED WORK? Jesus died in vain bcoz you still need to complete His work? you are saying salvation = Jesus + you ? You have forgotten the value of that one person (Jesus) the loveliness of Jesus and the perfection of His FINISHED WORK.

        John Burton, don’t worry about right living, bcoz when you believe right, you will automatically and effortlessly bear good fruits. Don’t look at yourself but keep looking at Jesus, by BEHOLDING Jesus you will be transformed from glory to glory not by your own might but by the power of Holy Spirit. And this truth indeed will set you free.

      • Mark Clemerol Castro

        Hi John,please make sure to read the Scripture in it’s PROPER context.

        Because when you say that we have to work out our salvation,you’re trying to say that the FINISHED WORK of CHRIST is not yet finished and so we have to put our obedience to the law.

        You are dishonoring the work of Christ by mixing some dose of grace and law.Stop preaching this message of works and condemnation.Start speaking the TRUTH and that is Grace (Jesus).

        Grace to you John Burton :)

        • http://www.johnburton.net/ John Burton

          You didn’t answer my question. Can I refuse to forgive someone and still be forgiven myself? Can I freely sin and still be saved?

          • Mark Clemerol Castro

            This is my answer – A BIG YES!

          • http://www.johnburton.net/ John Burton

            Mark, that would classify you as a heretic. I’m not meaning to be disrespectful, but that is not the Gospel. It’s a doctrine of demons that is sending millions of supposed Christians to Hell.

          • Mark Clemerol Castro

            LOL. So John,let me ask you this,have you obeyed the 603 laws plus the 10 commandments in your entire life? or let’s say, have you prayed enough?worship enough?give enough? or read God’s word enough?

            coz,what you’re trying to say that my salvation is still based on my obedience,not Jesus’ obedience?

            I want you to read this and read this in it’s context –

            Romans 5:19 (King James Version)

            19 For as by one man’s disobedience many were made sinners, so by the obedience of one shall many be made righteous.

          • Grahame A

            Your Comment “coz,what you’re trying to say that my salvation is still based on my obedience,not Jesus’ obedience?

            Answer Actually BOTH………… Your salvation is made available by His amazing obedience, but is also depend on your obedience as the following scripture prove. False Grace preachers focus exclusively on the scriptures that speak of Jesus’ obedience and neglect the scriptures that speak of our need for obedience……. therefore they come into error, not rightly dividing the Word of Truth

            Luk 6:46 “Why do you call me, ‘Lord, Lord,’ and DO NOT DO WHAT I SAY?

            Mat 7:21 “Not everyone who says to me, ‘Lord, Lord,’ will enter the kingdom of heaven, but ONLY HE WHO DOES THE WILL OF MY FATHER who is in heaven.

            Mat 7:22 Many will say to me on that day, ‘Lord, Lord, did we not prophesy in your name, and in your name drive out demons and perform many miracles?’

            Mat 7:23 Then I will tell them plainly, ‘I never knew you. Away from me, you evildoers!’

            Rom 6:16 Don’t you know that when you offer yourselves to someone to obey him as slaves, you are slaves to the one whom you obey–whether you are slaves to sin, which leads to death, or to OBEDIENCE,
            WHICH LEADS TO RIGHTEOUSNESS?

            2Th 1:8 He will punish those who do not know God and DO NOT OBEY THE GOSPEL of our Lord Jesus.

            Jhn 15:10 IF YOU OBEY MY COMMANDS, you will remain in my love, just as I have obeyed my Father’s commands and remain in his love.

            Rom 2:7 To
            those who by PERSISTENCE in doing good seek glory, honor and immortality, he will give eternal life.

            Rom 2:8 But for those who are self-seeking and who REJECT THE TRUTH AND FOLLOW EVIL, there will be wrath and anger.

            1Pe 2:8 and, “A stone that causes men to stumble and a rock that makes them fall.” [fn] THEY STUMBLE BECAUSE THEY DISOBEY THE MESSAGE–which is also what they were destined for.

            1Pe 4:17 For
            it is time for judgment to begin with the family of God; and if it begins with
            us, what will
            the outcome be for those WHO DO NOT OBEY THE GOSPEL OF GOD?

            Mat 6:24 “No one can serve two masters. Either he will hate the one and love the other, or he will be devoted to the one and despise the other. You cannot serve both God and Money.

            1Jo 2:5 But IF ANYONE OBEYS HIS WORD, God’s love is truly made complete in him. THIS IS HOW WE KNOW WE ARE IN HIM:

            1Jo 2:6 Whoever claims to live in him MUST WALK as Jesus did

            Hbr 5:9 and, once made perfect, he became the source of eternal salvation for ALL WHO OBEY HIM

            2Thess 1:8 He will punish those who do not know God and DO NOT OBEY THE GOSPEL OF OUR LORD JESUS.

            2Thess 1:9 They will be punished with everlasting destruction and shut out from the presence of the Lord and from the glory of his might

            Will you believe the Bible or your favorite teacher????????

          • Crucified to self

            I agree with you John! Read the following scripture that supports the fact that grace does not give you a license to sin.
            Tit 2:11 For God has revealed His grace for the salvation of all people.
            Tit 2:12 That grace instructs us to give up ungodly living and worldly passions, and to live self-controlled, upright and godly lives in this world,
            Tit 2:13 as we wait for the blessed day we hope for when the glory of our great God and saviour Jesus Christ will appear.
            Tit 2:14 He gave Himself for us, to rescue us from all wickedness and to make us a pure people who belong to Him alone and are EAGER TO DO GOOD.
            And according to 1 John 1:8 if we say we have no sin we deceive ourselves and there is no truth in us. How in context do you need to read the Word of God to know that it is for us today? Those who disobeyed the law of Moses (10 commandments) were put to death with no mercy when they were judged, what then of those who despise the Son of God and treat as a cheap thing the blood of the covenant which purified them from sin, who insult the Spirit of grace? I think it is an insult to God to say goog is evil and evil is good. Jesus did not die on the cross to allow sin but to keep you from sinning so that the evil one cannot harm you.

          • Mark Clemerol Castro

            First of all.Christians still sins without even asking for a license.Grace is not a license to sin.Read this:
            Romans 6:1-2:What shall we say then? Shall we continue in sin, that grace may abound? Of course not! Since we have died to sin, how can we continue to live in it?

            Now,if you do agree to John’s message,then that would be an insult to the Finished work of Christ.
            John is saying that we have to work out our salvation.

            Jesus’ performance is more than enough to save and keep you or let me rephrase that – If Grace is enough to save us then Grace is enough to keep us!

            The gospel is not about the sinful act of man,It’s the revelation of Jesus and His Finished work
            The gospel is all about His love and His Grace.

            Now if you read the context about what you have written above – Salvation which came from Grace is able to bear good fruits.

            Right Believing will always lead to Right Living.not the other way around!

  • Barbara Gittens-Cumberbatch

    Continue to let the truth be known. Excellent article. God bless!

  • Andrew Nelson

    We are not forgiven for all sins, past, present and future after we believe in Christ? Really? Wow. That’s gospel 101, isn’t it?

  • Bershawn300

    I think what this sincere author is meaning is that if/once you have accepted Christ as Savior and Lord, your sins are forgiven, but you must still deal with the CONSEQUENCES of your sins while here on earth, must still repent for them, make restitution, etc. You must still repent..to live unrepentantly…how would you even knew you belonged to Christ if you weren’t willing to repent? It doesn’t make sense. I take this to be what the author is meaning.

  • roro

    Hey John I think you need to read the bible and rightly diving the truth we are not living under law but grace and there is no such thing false grace and true grace , grace is grace and grace is Christ thank you

    • http://www.johnburton.net/ John Burton

      There are actually several unbiblical teachings about grace. People have twisted its meaning.

      • http://xcatholic.yuku.com/ gerald nichols

        You twist its meaning John.

      • John M Lu

        John Burton, You are actually saying Jesus’ sacrifice & finished work is not good enough? Jesus did not do a FINISHED WORK? Jesus died in vain bcoz you still need to complete His work? you are saying salvation = Jesus + you ? You have forgotten the value of that one person (Jesus) the loveliness of Jesus and the perfection of His FINISHED WORK.

        John Burton, don’t worry about right living, bcoz when you believe right, that All your sins have been forgiven, then you will automatically and effortlessly bear good fruits. Because Jesus Himself said: you will love Him much, if you know you have been forgiven much; but currently you believe you were only forgiven a little thus you will also love Him a little.

      • Mark Clemerol Castro

        Hyper Grace preachers preach the Truth (Jesus) about Grace (Jesus) – John 1:17.You’re actually the one who twist it’s meaning John.

        The Gospel is not about Jesus + something.It’s about Jesus + nothing.

        • http://www.johnburton.net/ John Burton

          So, I can refuse to forgive someone and still be forgiven? I can continue in sin and still be saved?

          • Mark Clemerol Castro

            Read this, Romans 6:14 – For sin shall not have dominion over you: for you are not under the law, but under grace.

            The fruit of a life saved by grace is good works!

          • http://www.johnburton.net/ John Burton

            So, you are saying that I can sin freely and it has no impact on my life? No dominion? Just state it plainly.

          • Mark Clemerol Castro

            John, if you are aware that you are loved and that you’re just merely conscious about His love.Do you think that you’re still gonna think of doing wrong things?

          • http://www.johnburton.net/ John Burton

            Of course you are. The Bible tells us that we will experience temptation. His own disciples betrayed him.

          • Mark Clemerol Castro

            So what can you say about this? 1 John 1 2:15 – 15 Do not love the world or anything in the world. If anyone loves the world, love of the Father[a] is not in them.

            The context says that if a christian fails and committed sin,he just don’t have the revelation that God loves him.It doesn’t say there that if you sinned you don’t have the love for the Father,but rather,you don’t have the revelation of His amazing and unconditional love for you!

          • http://www.johnburton.net/ John Burton

            If we love him, we will obey him.

          • Mark Clemerol Castro

            I think this is much better – If you know that you are loved by Him,you will also obey Him.

          • http://www.johnburton.net/ John Burton

            Even better… pure Scripture: John 14:15 “If you love me, keep my commands.”

          • Mark Clemerol Castro

            Hahaha.I agree, but do you know that John is not referring to the 10 commandments?

            Check this out as Paul revealed the meaning of obedience.

            Romans 1:5 and 16:26

            . . . through whom we have received grace and apostleship for OBEDIENCE TO THE FAITH among all nations for His name.

            . . . and by the prophetic Scriptures [the mystery] has been made known to all nations, according to the commandment of the everlasting God, for OBEDIENCE TO THE FAITH.

            And do you know on what faith Paul is referring to? that’s the Finished work of Christ!

  • Glona

    I am so confused. Those that believe in this grace teaching, are oftentimes the ones that lack grace to those who don’t agree with them. The sad part, is they don’t even validate their comments with a scripture. They just defend the preachers that preach on it. I have seen how this modern grace teachings have cause a lot of disastrous effects on relationship, and even churches. They so arrogantly left their churches and even sever their ties with good relationship, because they felt they know far better on grace that those who don’t. It is so sad, how this become so divisive. And when you challenge them on what they believe on, they throw a fit and cannot even back it up with scriptures.

  • http://xcatholic.yuku.com/ gerald nichols

    John Burton is disseminating a false teaching about the gospel of grace Christ gave Paul. Mark him as a false teacher.

  • Crucified to self

    Jesus stated that He did not come to abolish the law but to fulfill it. He still remains the same yesterday, today and forever. The difference of the OT and the NT is that we now have forgiveness of sins and the grace or power from on high to be able to walk in the Spirit. I have seen how this false grace message has destroyed lives and people’s faith. If any message is from God, it will produce true life and joy and it surely wont cause you to veer off the narrow road! I agree with John Burton’ message. We have to preach the true grace message because more than half the church has fallen for a message that makes them revel in the very sins that Jesus died for. Go and read 1 John, the whole book. It is totally opposing the false grace message.

    • Mark Clemerol Castro

      If you’re trying to say that Hyper Grace Message has destroyed lives and people’s faith.How come Paul preached it?

      I would like you to read one of the testimonies from the book of Paul Ellis (Hyper Grace Gospel)
      Hope you’ll be enlightened somehow :)
      Grace to You brother!

      I recommend that every grace preacher and believers must read the book.
      In Jesus you’re forgiven, sanctified, made holy and made eternally righteousness, yet Dr. Brown says Jesus isn’t enough. Now he wouldn’t come right out and say such a thing but Dr. Ellis pinpoints with laser sharp accuracy where Dr. Brown still depends on human effort to complete the work Jesus began. Paul Ellis’ response to Dr. Brown is one of respect and brotherly love. It’s refreshing to see mature communication on such a hotly debated issue. Paul’s explanation of grace and sanctification brings a degree of clarity often missed in Christianity today. To quote Dr. Ellis, “The hyper-grace gospel is easy to recognize for it is nothing more than boasting about Jesus.”
      — CLINT BYARS

      • Grahame A

        I suggest, that you do what I did when being confronted with
        this issue, for several months I studied the scriptures to determine what the
        scriptures actually said, by that I mean not a handful of scriptures from the
        teacher that says what I wanted to hear. But let the Bible speak to you, NOT for you. In doing so, I found a multitude of scriptures that did not agree with much of the modern grace message.

        Your first Point is “If you’re trying to say that Hyper
        Grace Message has destroyed lives and people’s faith. How come Paul preached
        it?”

        What Gospel did Paul preach? Please consider Paul’s
        teaching.

        “Therefore consider the goodness and severity of God:
        on those who fell, severity; but toward you, goodness, IF YOU CONTINUE in His
        goodness. Otherwise you also will be cut off.” Rom 11:22

        The point is Christ has done his work which is perfect, but there is a side to salvation were we have got to do something, Not to add to what He did, But a response to what He has done. The Bible actually say that we need to do something NOTE “IF YOU CONTINUE”. As I have said before there are multitudes of scriptures that confirm this by the mouth of Paul and Jesus

        Your second point is “In Jesus you’re forgiven, sanctified, made holy and made eternally
        righteousness,”

        “Eternally righteous”, this point is were False Grace Preachers miss it completely, let’s look at the scriptures. Obviously we are made righteous in Christ, but do we have to do something to maintain this righteousness/salvation, or can you lose it.?

        Now, brothers and sisters, I want to remind you of the gospel I preached to you, which you received and on which you have taken your stand. By this gospel you are saved, IF YOU HOLD FIRMLY TO THE WORD I PREACHED TO YOU. OTHERWISE, YOU HAVE BELIEVED IN VAIN. 1 Co 15:1-2

        See to it, brothers and sisters, that none of you has a sinful, unbelieving heart that turns away from the living God. But encourage one another daily, as long as it is called “Today,” so that none
        of you may be hardened by sin’s deceitfulness. WE HAVE COME TO SHARE IN CHRIST, IF INDEED WE HOLD OUR ORIGINAL CONVICTION FIRMLY TO THE VERY END. Heb 3:12-14

        But now he has reconciled you by Christ’s physical body through death to present you holy in his sight, without blemish and free from accusation—IF YOU CONTINUE IN YOUR FAITH, established and firm, and do not move from the hope held out in the Gospel. This is the gospel
        that you heard and that has been proclaimed to every creature under heaven, and of which I, Paul, have become a servant. Col 1:22-23

        This is obviously talking to Christians, but my point is, if you believe in unconditional eternal security, by your statement “Eternally righteous”, then scripture is clearly against that
        position. Do I believe in eternal security yes. But you must think about what these verse are actually saying. We have apart to play in this.

        Your Point “Dr. Brown still depends on human effort to complete the work Jesus began”

        Human effort does not complete Jesus’ work, BUT is a scriptural response to Christ work. Just a few examples

        Heb 12:14 MAKE EVERY EFFORT to live in peace with everyone and to be holy; WITHOUT HOLINESS NO ONE WILL SEE THE LORD.
        Heb 12:15 SEE TO IT THAT NO ONE FALLS SHORT of the grace of God and that no bitter root grows up to cause trouble and defile many.

        Pe 1:10 Therefore, my brothers, BE ALL THE MORE EAGER TO MAKE YOUR CALLING AND ELECTION SURE. For if you do these things, YOU WILL NEVER FALL,

        2 Pe 3:14 So then, dear friends, since you are looking forward to this, MAKE EVERY EFFORT to be found spotless, blameless and at peace with him.

        Heb 4:11 Let us, therefore, MAKE EVERY EFFORT TO ENTER THAT REST, so that no one will perish by following their example of disobedience.

        Dr Brown’s position is supported by scripture please spend more time mediating on what the Bible actually says. The question is, can a certain preachers point on a topic be supported by the majority of scriptures on the subject, or are they cherry picking. Establish your position on an issue, by referring to as many scriptures as possible, it can be interesting when you find much much more scripture that disproves a popular teachers position, than scripture that prove it. I have come to the conclusion that we are living in a day declared in the Bible.

        For the time will come when they will not endure sound doctrine, but according to their own desires, because they have itching ears, they will heap up for themselves teachers; and they will
        turn their ears away from the truth, and be turned aside to fables. 2Ti 4:3-4

  • Ralf

    And here i found my brethren in the faith arguing. Cmon guys!

  • Tristan

    Salvation is eternal. If Salvation depended on how holy we lived after we received Christ as our Lord and Saviour, than no one could go to heaven. Of course, and yes, after one gets saved they will want to live more righteous because of God’s love; but our deeds of righteousness don’t save us; but our deeds of righteousness are a reaction to God’s love toward us; which in the end will result in fulfilling the Law. Not right away, but progressively. Because the law is fulfilled by love. You can’t scare someone or educate someone into following the Law of Christ, which is Love. (Lordship salvationists theological teaching, not that they don’t believe, but they are teaching Grace and Love incorrectly, I believe.) If salvation depended on how holy we live after we got saved (again, not that you won’t want to live holy, but God changes hearts and wants to make them live holy.) than why did Christ die on the Cross for our sins? He could have just told us the message of his love for us, and leave it up to us to make it to heaven. Instead Christ died for our sins to save us from our sins, for the ones who believe on his name. Ever since the beginning the law and message was Love (1 John 3:11) Love has to be genuine in order to fulfill the law. And genuine Love comes from God and Christ, which he showed us most extensively on the cross. Abraham was saved by Faith, and he surely had deeds that were not righteous in Gods eyes (Disobeying God when he had a child of a Bondwoman, and not his wife, Freewoman), and this was after he knew God for who he was, Love; same with David, same with Paul, Peter, same with many great people of the bible, and same with us. Love should motivate to live holy, not in-obedient, but we all mess up and sin, because we’re sinners. And I would consider using the AKJV for your research, because you need God’s exact translated words, which many Bible versions don’t have. Remember the thing and message the devil wants to hide you from, which is Love, and Love transforms the heart, not fear, or and JUST an educated brain. The Gospel is for the broken in heart, the poor, the hurt, and the despised, the forgotten in the world. Even Jesus came here and lived a broken life for us; there were times he was starving, didn’t have a home to sleep in, not water, dying of thirst almost, was mocked and forgotten by people, he lived a broken life, because the message is for the broken. We’re all broken when it comes down to it, but the ones at the bottom of this world are especially broken and humbled and hurt and in pain. (Mexico, Haiti, Kenya, and much more.) What this people need is Love, and what God has given them, is Love, on the cross, in Christ. Because God, is Love. Amen.

  • Nicole Beer

    By rightly dividing the word, we need to understand God as being a Trinity. God the Father, The Son and the Holy Spirit. God the Father does not work separately from the Son and Holy Spirit and vice versa. Everything in His word involves the Trinity. We also need to remember that God is an unchanging God, He does not change (Malachi 3:6). When we say that we are not living under the law but under grace, and only apply salvation without works – it is pulling apart the word of God into bits and pieces and it then doesn’t become “the whole counsel of God”.

    1) The old Testament was given to us “as an example” so that we may know what true grace is. The Tabernacle of Moses is a beautiful type and shadow of the walk a believer should follow. When we approach the Outer Court of the Tabernacle it relates to entering into a Relationship with God and likens to when Jesus died on the Cross, He died to justify us and to make us righteous, to put us into a right relationship with Him. This was the work of Jesus – Saving Grace.

    2) When we approach the Holy Place it relates to Discipleship by God which is the Holy spirit’s work in us to enable us to “work out our salvation with fear and trembling”. In the Holy Place are the Lampstand, Table of Showbread, Altar of Incense. Its layout in the room typifies a cross so that “if anyone desires to come after Me, let Him deny himself and take up his cross daily and follow me” (Luke 9:23). It is the process of Sanctification (Discipleship ) the work of the Holy Spirit – Enabling Grace.

    3) When we approach the Holy of Holies it relates to our Fellowhip with God. This required the Levitical priests to be holy in their conduct as much as it also requires us to strive after holiness without which no one shall see the Lord (Heb 12:14). It is the process of Glorification, our future experience in God – Future Grace.

    What the Lord has established in the law of the Old Testament is for our example so that we may know the threefold steps: Jesus, Holy Spirit, Father / Justification, Sanctification, Glorification / Outer Court, Holy Place, Holy of Holies / The Way, The Truth, The Life. He is unchanging and Holy. If He required old covenant people to be Holy in their conduct, He is the same today. “For I am the Lord, I do not change” (Mal 3:6) and “Jesus Christ is the same yesterday, today and forever” (Heb 13:8)

    When we say that we don’t need to work after receiving salvation, because then that would be “legalism” – that is denying a part of the Trinity which is the Holy Spirit, everything in number 2 above. The Levitical Priests couldn’t jump from the Outer Court to the Holy of Holies without going through the Holy Place – likewise we today cannot take Grace for granted and jump from Justification to Glorification without Sanctification. That would not be the “whole counsel of God”. God is Holy and He requires our daily repentance “working out our salvation” in the Holy Place. Any of us who attempt to separate the works of the Trinity as a whole will be rejected. We cannot fool God, He is unchanging and Holy and we are to fear Him.

  • Christy Clemens

    I agree with what you wrote, it is something that is revealed by the Holy Spirit.

    Of course there are multiple types of grace being preached. Satan always mimics God yet twists it subtlety so that it is unrecognizable from truth. The bible uses the example of wheat and tares growing together. Tares look identical to wheat in early stages, you can’t tell them apart until they grow to full maturity. False people in the church seem like they aren’t and they act like they aren’t on the outside but they ultimately seek only what benefits themselves and do not have a servants heart. They think they are authentic even to the point of fooling themselves.

    We are saved by Grace. This is a profession that we make from the core of our soul, the depths of our heart. It’s a response to truth, the truth of God and his son and the sacrifice of Jesus. That Grace, that power, is the power to be transformed by the Holy Spirit, the same spirit that was hovering over the waters of the deep during creation.

    It is not something that we flippantly add to our lives as we continue to live for ourselves. From my own experience it is the greatest realization when God opens your eyes through the Holy Spirit to see the depth of his love and seeing what sin truly is through the Holy Spirit. When I saw that I realized my destitution but was in awe and shock that God would love me and think of me and do something for me (save me through Jesus).

    The Holy Spirit transforms my life but it only changes me where I loosen and let go of the areas of my life that I have a tightened grasp on. This is dying to yourself. This is the potter (God) molding the clay (me). Letting go of all the world tells you that you need in the flesh and letting the Holy Spirit reside, abide in Jesus instead (listening to what the Holy Spirit tells you to do). No duh I will have a constant struggle with temptation to sin, I live on a fallen earth. No duh, I will be complete and free of temptation and sin in heaven. But if God is first in my life his power is manifest when I am tempted to sin and the Holy Spirit counsels me in that moment and I use my free will to choose the Holy Spirits leading instead of my own selfish desires or inclinations. Over time, I overcome that inclination and it no longer is a temptation. But it was relying on God that enabled me to overcome. That is the process of sanctification and will change you into something you could never be out of your own strength. He goes above and beyond anything we can think of.

    People cannot overcome in their own strength. Those who believe in false grace are those who have tried to do good by their own power and failed in their own human fallen state. Rather than pray and cry out to God (while submitting your heart and soul to God and praying for the counsel of the Holy Spirit) they listen to what other humans say and/or make the gospel revolve around what makes sense to them physically(earthly) rather than spiritually(heavenly)(It’s the easier path to take and to comprehend). When they try to do good things in their own strength (usually good in their own thinking too) they will always fail. We must rely on God’s strength, God’s power in all we encounter. The good God places in our hearts to do is his works through us and usually is something that doesn’t make much sense but when you submit to God (obey) he does miraculous things. This is part of running the good race and fighting the good fight. It is really difficult, sometimes exhausting. But it is worth it because God’s love, his character is made manifest in us when we obey him.

    If you think you can add God to your life by saying some magic words and continue to sin (satan twists the fact of our imperfect state until glorification into something that defeats us from letting us be a conduit of God’s works), you are mistaken and the truth is not in you. Your heart has to be opened and only one who can open it is only God.

    Any good works done on earth by a true follower of Christ is really God’s works as he is working through his people. My works do not save me and do not matter but God created me for his good works. Should I refuse to do them by using his son’s sacrifice as an excuse not to?